The students at Kirksville Elementary School participated in a KY Proud/Agriculture Adventure Day on October 2. The day began with the "Lunch Room Live" assembly that entailed an exciting 45-minute assembly to introduce the topic of agriculture to the entire school. Students were delighted with the antics of the facilitators, Chef Parmesan and Derby (the talking horse) as they made a pizza using soil as the first ingredient.
Our young “farmers” then traveled from the farm to the dinner table while learning about field preparation, photosynthesis, processing wheat, and making cheese - essential steps in making a pizza from "scratch."
After the school-wide assembly students were able to work thru various hands-on activities such as:
• The students saw first hand how technology has affected farm life as they milked a fiberglass cow by hand and experience the power of a milking machine.
• Students were educated on the importance of simple machines as they compared using a mortar and pestle and a hand grinder to grind wheat into flour.
• Students managed a farm with cards representing their corn crop and money. They spin a wheel three times to select to select random events that effect the crop, and decide a course of action to optimize the net profits. They decide the selling price with a final spin, sell their crop and count the profits.
• Students explored food and byproducts from three Kentucky crops - Corn, Soy Beans, and Wheat. The activity used a barcode scanner to read specific products. After the barcode is read, a computer relays facts about the products to the students.
• Students chose a land deed and tested the associated soil sample for acidity using a pH indicator. Using crop fact sheets, the students decided which crops they could grow successfully based on the soils pH.
• Students explored seed planting and were educated on what a seed needs to grow. Older students picked a crop and planted it according to the specifications given.
• Students were introduced to My Pyramid, the USDA's new version of the food pyramid. The end product of this station was a personalized take home page that reminds the student what is needed for healthy living.
• Animal tagging- Students were given the opportunity to brand a cow, ear notch a "hog" and use an RFID scanner to find specific information about the animals.
Approximately 20 students from Madison Southern and Madison Central volunteered to help make this day-long event such a huge success.